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Business Observer Monday, Mar. 30, 2020 2 months ago

Contractor partners with health system on coronavirus project

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The negative air units will be used in the Gulf Coast Medical Center and the HealthPark Medical Center locations.

FORT MYERS — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, B&I Contractors is working with Lee Health on a concept that could help reduce the spread of the disease in hospitals.

The Fort Myers-based mechanical, electrical and plumbing subcontractor collaborated with Lee Health and RDJ Construction on a prototype of a plenum box that was quickly put in production, according to a press release. 

Courtesy. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, B&I Contractors is working with Lee Health on a concept that could help reduce the spread of the disease in hospitals.

The plenum box is part of a temporary negative air station, designed to slide through the hospital room door without being disassembled. Its function is to catch the coughing patient’s discharge while in the hospital bed, drawing negative air back into the plenum and filtering it through a fan.

With the assistance of skilled workers, the team produced 75 units by March 26, with 25 additional units expected to be completed by March 30.

“I am happy and proud of what we are doing as a company during this time of need," says B&I Sheet Metal Shop Manager Phil Murphey in a statement. "It feels like a small task, but it could help contain the spread of the virus and keep our nurses and doctors safe." 

The negative air units will be used in the Gulf Coast Medical Center and the HealthPark Medical Center locations.

“The equipment that you are helping to develop and expedite is critical to reduce the spread of this deadly disease," says Lee Health Director of Strategic Capital Construction Projects Eric Anderson in a statement. "The importance of this containment is to help provide additional safety measures to keep the staff away from the sick patients that have tested positive or are suspected to be positive of COVID-19. With the significant supply shortages for masks, gloves, face shields, etc., these containments significantly reduce the amount of PPE usage in the facility while we are waiting to be resupplied.” 

Established in 1960, B&I has offices in Fort Myers, Tamarac, Sarasota and Tampa. The employee-owned company provides HVAC, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration and building maintenance services for commercial, institutional and industrial facilities. The company reported $129.58 million in gross revenue in 2019. 

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